PM says Cam Ranh Port to be solely managed by Vietnam

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Vietnam will be solely responsible for developing Cam Ranh Port and renting its services out to foreign navies, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Saturday.


Like many other countries, "Vietnam will sell its military port services to all navies, including submarines," Dung said at the closing conference of the 17th ASEAN summit in Hanoi.


He said the country will consider hiring Russian consultants for the construction of Cam Ranh Port, off the coast of the central region's Khanh Hoa Province.


The deep-water port has been evaluated as one the best ports in the world. Located more than 300 kilometers to the north of Ho Chi Minh City, the port has access to important shipping lines, both military and commercial, in the East Sea.


Cam Ranh Port was used by the US for military purposes during the Vietnam War. After the war, Vietnam and the Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1979 that allowed the latter to use Cam Ranh for 25 years. However, Russia withdrew in 2002, due to financial problems.


Foreign media recently reported that Russia planned to return to Cam Ranh. But Nguyen Phuong Nga, spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, said Vietnam will not cooperate with any country that wants to use the port for military purposes.


Instead, Vietnam will manage and develop the port with the country's best interests in mind, local news website VietNamNet quoted the government as saying Sunday.


This has been the Vietnamese government's intention since 2002.


During the conference, Dung also approved plans to develop Cam Ranh Airport for domestic and regional flights through 2020, when it is expected to receive 5.5 million passengers and 100,000 tons of cargo a year, on top of military aircrafts.

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